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Physics & Instrumentation » Physics
Duplication Artifact - Apparent Double Aorta
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Author(s) :
Chaitali Shah, FRCR
Presentation Patient with known history of biliary disease now presents with intermittent RUQ pain.
Caption: Transverse upper abdomen at level of pancreas
Description: Two aortas are seen immediately anterior to the spine.
Differential Diagnosis
  • True duplication of the aorta - possible but rare
  • Aortic aneurysm with dissection - more likely but  image appears to depict two distinct and adjacent  aortas , both within normal limits in size
  • Duplication Artifact - most likely explanation
Final Diagnosis Duplication Artifact
Discussion Duplication artifacts are common in the abdomen but are usually not noticed and when prominent are easily identified as in this case.  Apparent duplication of the aorta results from  a refraction  effect caused by the curved surfaces of the rectus abdominus muscle where it interfaces with the surrounding fat.  See Chapter MG22, Ultrasound Artifacts here on SonoWorld for a more detailed discussion of this artifact.   Duplication artifacts are easily verified by moving the transducer laterally on the abdomen while maintaining the apparently duplicated structure in view.  The duplication effect will disappear as the transducer is moved.
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